Michelle Geisbauer - The Importance of Early Detection

“Early detection worked for me. My cancer was found in time and I had a fighting chance thanks to the many “breast cancer heroes” at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center who were a part of my journey.”

Henry Mayo’s Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center Raises Awareness about Breast Cancer and the Importance of Early Detection

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center will use this time to raise awareness about breast cancer, and the importance of early detection. Each year the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center selects a breast cancer survivor to serve as an ambassador to the community to share her story in hopes of encouraging others to get annual mammogram screenings.

Michelle Geisbauer and her husband Tony are life-long residents of the Santa Clarita Valley. In the summer of 2019 she was preparing for a 4th of July family vacation to Minnesota. As busy women sometimes do, she had postponed her annual mammogram until a few weeks before the trip. Nothing could have prepared her for the news that followed.

Michelle completed her 3D screening mammogram and an abnormality was detected. She was asked to return for diagnostic imaging which confirmed the presence of calcifications and a biopsy would be required. Her case was somewhat complex in that calcifications were located behind her breast implants, which in some instances can make cancer harder to detect. The Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center’s lead radiologist, Dr. Anjali Date, felt that it was safer to perform a surgical biopsy to prevent rupturing the implant. A few days later, the biopsy was scheduled with Dr. Gregory Senofsky and the results confirmed Michelle’s worst fear.

Michelle was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer in which the cells have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the nearby breast tissue.

Michelle’s life had changed in a matter of a few days. There were a series of procedures that followed such as additional mammograms, biopsies, MRI’s, and a lumpectomy just to name a few. “It was a challenging time, but I’m forever grateful and the silver lining is that early detection had worked for me.”

“My husband and I have been married for 26 years and our two children Kayla and Jake are the light of our lives. The thought of not being here with them was terrifying and not an option. After careful consultation with Dr. Senofsky, I decided that I never wanted to face this situation again and there was only one way to protect my health. I needed to undergo a double mastectomy.”

“The sense of loss that I initially experienced was quickly overshadowed by the love and support that I received from family, friends, and the staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center. I appreciated all of the concern, care, and compassion I received throughout this entire experience.”

Michelle’s message is simple, “You only have one life, so make time for yourself and your health. In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m asking you to please consider a donation in support of the work being done at Henry Mayo’s Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center.”For more information on how you can support the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center, please visit, www.henrymayogiving.com/bca